September Pieces Of My Mind #2

Go watch Villeneuve’s new Dune movie. Trust me!
  • Movie: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978). Growing paranoid fear that the people around you might be alien impostors. Sketchy plotting and too long. Grade: OK.
  • So, who wants me to call them “Arne Saknussemm”?
  • Woah. If I want my upcoming paper in the Post-Medieval Archaeology journal to be Open Access, then that would cost €2,475 = $2,900 = SEK 25,000. That’s about ten times what I would have guessed.
  • The Haunting of Hill House is a pretty boring book, except inadvertently. “How weary one gets of this constant pounding”, Theodora said ridiculously.
  • Came up belatedly with a few points I should have made in my talk this past Saturday. ”I certainly don’t want to say that the study of early iron production is in any way disgusting or unnatural. It has become a fully respected part of our discipline. If people enjoy doing research into early iron production, then I think they should be allowed to and it is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just not my own personal inclination.”
  • Wonder if the Thin Lizzy “Jailbreak” pick-up line works — “Hey you, good lookin’ female, come here!” — even if you’re not Phil Lynott and it’s not 1976.
  • Movie: Dune (2021). Tragic, heroic, operatic, darkly beautiful. Will no doubt be remembered as one of this decade’s best SF movies!
  • One of the most pointless aspects of proof-reading today is that a lot of graphic design software does not reliably import italics, so the designer has to do them all by hand, and s/he always makes a mess of this to some degree.
  • There’s a Chinese food underground in Stockholm that I occasionally glimpse through my wife. People who grow vegetables no Swede has ever heard of on suburban allotments and sell them to restaurants. A WeChat group where you can order bespoke cold dishes and moon cakes for delivery to a few parking lots around town — provided that you can read and write Chinese.
  • I easily got used to having kids to mind. I’m finding it much harder to get used to not having kids to mind. Of course I’m happy that they grew up strong!
  • There’s an annoying inconsistency in the fact that Sweden’s two large Socialist parties have loads of members and voters who are also members of the Swedish Church.
  • Fredrik Strage played a Mob 47 track on his podcast. I was impressed and intrigued. Mid 80s hard-core punk music was clearly a much more important root for later extreme metal styles than mid 80s metal itself was.

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

12 thoughts on “September Pieces Of My Mind #2”

  1. Enjoy your weekly write-up, Doc. Good to hear about the new Dune movie. I liked the 1984 one and still watch it here and there. I especially like the soundtrack for that version and especially the track titled Final Dream. Nice to find a fellow metaller out there. I’m 61 and cut my metal-teeth when I was a teen and overheard my elder teen sisters listening to Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, and Zeppelin. True, they are not metal bands, but they got me headed in the right direction. My first ‘metal’ purchase was Judas Priest’s Killing Machine in 1978. Since then I’ve grown to like all sorts of metal. As for your Thin Lizzy pick-up-line question. If I was 6′ 2″ tall and looked like a male model? Then yes, a lame pick-up-line like that, assuming both individuals were soaked in alcohol, would probably work more often than not. Hee, hee, hee.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Drill thralls were the kidnapped aliens forced to fight each other in the original Star Trek episode called The Gamesters of Triskelion. That’s how I came up with drillthrall.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to agree with you on the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It was surprisingly boring for what it was supposed to be. Interestingly, there’s a mental disorder in which the patient thinks that people he or she knows have been replaced by replicas of some sort. I think it’s called the Capgras Delusion. A writer could get all sorts of story ideas reading the DSM, the US official list of psychiatric disorders.

    Q: So, who wants me to call them “Arne Saknussemm”?
    A: Arne Saknussemm [Is this a trick question?]

    Does Sweden have its own “dialect” of Chinese food? The US had chow mein and chop suey. India has Ludhiana Chinese which uses a lot of chili. There was a Ludhiana Chinese place in NYC on lower Lexington. I remember how strange the Chinese food in France was in the 1960s. I’ve never had anything like it anywhere else or since. There was a Peruvian Chinese restaurant in my neighborhood when I was growing up, but my family stuck with Moon Garden (local) and May Wah (downtown). I wonder if they used quinoa or potatoes? I’ve never had either prepared in a Chinese style.

    What is the conflict between Sweden’s Socialist parties and the Swedish Church? Is the church strongly against socialism somehow?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Swedish Chinese food started in the 1960s and involves a lot of canned vegetables, including bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Deep-fried meats and fish with a bright red sweet-sour sauce are important. Everything is fairly bland. My wife has written quite a lot of journalism about this odd cuisine. The first generation of Chinese restaurant owners had to enter the market at a low price point and cater to an audience that hadn’t travelled much and was thus not used to spices. “Four little dishes” was a way of approximating a Chinese banquet on one partitioned plate for a guest who wasn’t used to sharing dishes with others.

      There is no conflict between Sweden’s socialist parties and the Swedish Church. Those parties are heavily represented on local church executive boards. My comment referred to the atheism and anticlericalism inherent at least historically in socialism. I think you can quite reasonably read the Gospels and be inspired to vote socialist. It’s more jarring that you can read Marx and want to stay a member of the Church. And if you’re not a member then you can’t get elected onto the board.

      Most members of the Swedish Church, however, are apparently atheists or at least not religiously active. And most socialist voters never read Marx. I haven’t read much myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s interesting about Swedish Chinese food. There is a version for just about every nation. In the US, Chinese restaurants offered family dinners where one paid by the number of diners and ordered a certain number of items from Column A and a certain number from Column B. There were other options as well: appetizer, soup, dessert. It was an early, easy to understand, introduction to combinatorics, and “one from Column A, two from Column B” entered the vernacular. You still didn’t share dishes.

        One could always get fairly authentic Chinese food in NYC’s Chinatown according to a high school friend of mine who came over from mainland China – as we called it – in the late 1950s – his parents had been judges in China, but in the US ran a garment factory – but one had to know how to order in the proper language. In the 1970s, when the US diplomatically recognized China, the restaurants started offering translated menus for previously hard to order dishes. They also started serving “family” or “banquet” style with big serving dishes on the table and empty plates for each diner.

        Thanks for the clarification on socialism and religion. As for the kinds of atheists:
        – Jewish: There is only one god, even if I don’t believe in him.
        – Catholic: I cannot accept Catholicism, even though it is the one true religion.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. There are definitely differences (and some similarities) between Chinese cuisine in the UK and in Sweden. Weirdly, the Swedish classic “beef with bamboo shoot” is (almost) impossible to find, at least around London. The closest you get is probably “stir-fried beef, with bamboo shoots and onions”. Which, to be fair, is close. But, also not the same.

      I did end up getting a liking for Szechuan cooking when I was there. Not to mention that is the delight of a Szechuan ma-la hot-pot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s also the weirdness that is the pretty big difference between “Indian food” in the US, and “Indian food” in the UK. And, indeed, between “curry” in the UK and “curry” in Malta. The former tends towards savoury, the latter towards savoury, with a LOT of fruit (sultanas, raisins, etc…). Apparently this is because Maltese curry diverged from curry elsewhere in the Empire sometime in the late Victorian era, where (outside India), fruity curries was the fashion. That was also approximately when Japanese (navy) curry became a thing, through the British Navy being well-fed and strong.

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